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Social Goals and Individual Incentives to Promote Walking in Older Adults

Principal Investigators: Karen Glanz, Jason Karlawish

Evidence from behavioral economics suggests that people have short time horizons and difficulty trading off immediate for delayed health benefits. Little is known, however, about whether financial incentives can be effective in encouraging higher levels of physical activity among older adults, particularly when they are in the form of social goals. The goal of this pilot randomized controlled trial is to test whether a financial incentive of a donation to achieve a social goal is more effective to motivate and sustain a daily walking habit than the same dollar value given to an older adult. This study will recruit adults 65 and older to use Way to Health with a digital pedometer-internet interface. 

Funder: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Donaghue Foundation